I submit that a key aspect of this joyful journey for many western Christians is an exodus of liberation from consumerism, the state of bondage in which we are consumed by what we consume. Our toys so often own us. In such a context, learning to delight in less is an affirmation of a life with more of the things that matter. The simple life is not only a matter of justice (living simply so that others can simply live) – though it is certainly that in a world of ever more apparent ecological limits – the simple life is also the good life. Receiving all God’s gifts with thanks enables us to let (many of) them go and to let go the desire for more that makes us discontent. Let us instead become discontent with our discontentment, which robs of us of peace and perspective.
The pursuit of justice, insofar as it is woven within the Christian good news, is also part of this same joyous adventure. It is not a fight, but a dance. We do not create it or establish it; we share from what we have ourselves received. Our goal is not the spread of consumerist “wealth” to every member of society and every corner of the globe. Our goal is that in walking the way of the cross, all may discover it to be the way of light.
Not yet concrete enough? Go and sell your possessions, then come follow Christ.
Originally posted at Theopolis.